The last few months seemed to have whizzed by: Mummy and I have been getting the Etsy business together and going to a few craft fairs to get the word out, which necessarily means we have been making quite a few things and trialling new patterns and somehow Christmas has come and gone and we are nearly in February. I swear a year used to feel longer when I was a child. It seemed ages until each birthday and yet now they roll around with alarming frequency.
On top of this, work has really put in a stellar effort towards eating all my time (I am averaging a 70-80 hour working week at the moment) and I know teachers have long holidays but dear God are they far apart. Also, I like to think of them less as holidays and more like all my weekends that I haven’t taken for the previous term squashed together. Half-term is always just a chance to do all the lesson planning and photocopying for the next sprint; I am at work but calmly because there are no children! (I am with Miss Trunchbull on this one; a school without children in is the best kind of school.)
So blogging has fallen far down the list of things to do. Then I woke up this morning and SUNSHINE WAS HAPPENING and I thought, right, make hay while the sun shines, etc. I will do something for ME while I am feeling energised and enthusiastic and that thing will not be marking.
So. The Etsy business.
Every time we went to a craft fair people were asking if we had a webshop so we thought we would open one. We called it Fly Away Ladybird for the same reason that I called the blog Fly Away Ladybird- a joke between my mum and me. A friend (who makes her own super cute stuff on Etsy) designed us a cheerful logo:
and Lovely Husband put words on it and then we ordered All Of The Things that one needs (e.g. tissue paper, stickers, envelopes, card machine, display props, banner….) which made for some very exciting post. We booked in some craft fairs, spent a day with Helpful Daddy and his Very Swish New Camera, cropped photos, retook photos and then attempted to write descriptions to go on the Etsy page. All of this took much time, mostly because it had to be squeezed in around Life and Job and Mummy taking Aged Dog to hydrotherapy. But it is done and open (check it out here) and friends have been saying nice things (thanks, friends) so that is good. Craft fair selling is going well and we have a couple more coming up. All the details go up on our Facebook page so do pop over there if you are interested.
This has meant that most of my making has been focused in this direction and I have been writing new crochet patterns and drawing new felt templates and trying new things, which is always fun and, I think, really important to do when you have a job with an ever growing to do list of, to be honest, fairly monotonous tasks.
I enjoyed working with the blue Cabaret yarn when I was doing the mermaid tail so much that I have essentially bought it in every colour. I did try a straight up double crochet fingerless glove set first, but I didn’t feel it really showed off the different colours in the yarn so I came up with this pattern:
which I think works really well. I happened to have those wooden leaf buttons in my stash but they go really well I think. Now I just have to track them down for the next pair….
The biggest thing I have been working on is ‘felt hoop art’. Frankly, I would rather just call it sewing but that is a bit ambiguous so ‘felt hoop art’ will have to do. I have been seeing lots of lovely things in hoops recently and I think it works well and wanted to try it and then, when staring out of the window mid-way through a pile of exam scripts, I had some Valentine’s Day based ideas. I am not really a fan of smooshy, saccharine expressions- I prefer something a little more off-piste and real. Also, I like narwhals and hedgehogs. I came up with these:
using an Oscar Wilde quotation and, possibly more importantly, sparkly felt.
And also these:
This design is really for Lovely Husband. We have a hedgehog thing. Turns out we both loved them when we were little and really wanted a pet one and collected little hedgehog toys. DESTINY at work I feel. We are also both quite prickly at times.
I had some bunny rabbit coloured felt and a fat quarter that has been wanting me to use it for a while, so I came up with this:
I wanted to put a Magnetic Fields quotation on instead (‘I long to nibble your ears / And do as bunnies do’) but our first craft fair this year is at a primary school so I decided to go with the safer option…
And that is about it. Well, over Christmas I cut out and sewed up three new dresses, but they all need hemming so aren’t ready for their debut yet. I also need to work out how to thread my new overlocker first, so that might have to wait until Easter.
I am quite proud of what has been achieved over the last few months. I am really enjoying getting stuff ready for craft fairs and trying out new things- it is helping me keep my ‘creative flame’ burning.
Right, I am off to do marking and laundry because glamorous is how I roll.